Proper routing and support of electrical wire (C) Carson Dunlop AssociatesElectrical Wire Clearance
Space between electrical wiring & ducts or pipes

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Electrical wiring clearance distances from pipes & ductwork:

How far should you keep wires away from plumbing pipes or ductwork?

This article series describes how to choose, locate, and wire an electrical receptacle in a home. Electrical receptacles (also called electrical outlets or "plugs" or "sockets") are simple devices that are easy to install, but there are details to get right if you want to be safe.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Electrical Wire Clearances from Ducts & Pipes

Electrical box and water pipes during construction (C) Daniel Friedman InspectAPedia.comWhat distance should be kept between electrical wires or boxes and nearby plumbing pipes or HVAC ducts? Some basic wire clearance distances are given in Carson Dunlop Associates' skectch above, used with permission.

Carson Dunlop Associates is a Toronto home inspection, education, and report writing tool firm.

[Click to enlarge any image]

In that page top sketch we show that

Electrical wire should be kept at least 1" away from radiator piping and heating ducts. A piece of insulation can be used to keep the wire separated from a nearby heating duct or pipe if necessary.

Electrical wire must be kept at least 6" away from a single-wall exhaust flue of gas fired heating appliances.

Electrical wire must be kept 9" ti 18" away from a single wall exhaust flue of an oil fired heating appliance like a boiler, furnace, or water heater.

Electrical wire must be at least 18" away from a single wall exhaust flue for a woodstove or coal stove

We also don't route wires too close to places where the wires can be damaged by heat from a heating appliance or chimney, flooded, etc. as you'll see depicted in the two Carson Dunlop Associates sketches below.

Thanks to Steve for pointing out erroneous illustration link details, now fixed.

Proper routing and support of electrical wire (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Proper routing of electric wires in metal studs (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

How many electrical receptacles are allowed on a 20-amp circuit? How many receptacles on a 15-amp circuit?

Reader question: How many receptacles can be wired To one 20 amp circuit No. 12. Wire - John K.


20 Amp electrical outlet © D Friedman at John K:

Our photo (left) shows a 20-Amp electrical receptacle - you can recognize it by that horizontal opening that makes the left-hand slot look like the letter "T" on its side.

In general, the Electrical Code [NEC] allows

Our photo (left) illustrates an electrical receptacle intended for use on a 20-Amp circuit.

Notice that extra horizontal slot? You won't see that on a 15-Amp electrical receptacle

Details about how to wire up an electrical receptacle are at ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE CONNECTION DETAILS - where to connect black, white, red, green, ground wires.


Continue reading at ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE POSITION: WHICH WAY UP or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE HEIGHT FAQs questions & answers posted originally at this article

Or see ELECTRIC BASEBOARD HEAT INSTALL for discussion of clearances from electrical receptacles



Or see this

Articles on Electrical Receptacle Wiring

Suggested citation for this web page

ELECTRICAL WIRE CLEARANCE FROM DUCTS & PIPES at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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